Ideology is measured using a list of attitudinal questions, inspired by the Zuobiao (Compass) survey of Chinese Ideology.
Ideology Question Items:
- If people pay taxes, they have the right to discuss how the government spend their money.
- Discussing major national and local issues requires relatively high level of knowledge and abilities, therefore only people that meet such requirements should be allowed to participate.
- Lawyers should do their utmost to defend clients even if they are aware that the client has committed a crime.
- Wealthy people should be taxed more to help the poor.
- People who make money through capital gains contribute less to the society than people make money through labor.
- It is “rule-by-the-people” only when common people have the right to directly express themselves over or to directly decide major national and local issues.
- Private enterprises is the best solution to solve China’s economic problems.
- People should not openly discuss the shortcomings of their elders.
- Traditional Chinese Medicine can effectively cure many diseases.
Exploratory principal component analysis (PCA) suggests that there may be as many as three latent dimensions of ideology.
In particular, attitudes towards representation, mass rule, redistribution and legal ethics tend to load up on a common dimension, which can we interpret as representing politically socialist sentiments. Similarly, questions about elite participation, capital owners, and private industry also load up together in what appears to be an economically-socialist dimension. Unsurprisingly, respect for elders and faith in traditional Chinese medicine load up together in what appears to be a traditional-cultural dimension.
Overall, the ideology analysis suggests a convergent distribution of ideology that spans what Pan and Xu refer to as a liberal-conservative spectrum.